Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Flirting Wth the Past: Remembering Dr. Peter D'Costa, B.H., and Mrs. Agnes D'Costa Today

Dr. Peter D'Costa and Mrs. Agnes D'Costa on their wedding day of May 21, 1938 on the lawn of  St. John the Baptist Church at Tumilia in greater Dhaka District of British India
Today is the 75th anniversary of my late parents’ wedding anniversary. On this occasion, I remember them anew with profound filial love and fondness. They were married at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at Tumilia of the then greater Dhaka District, presently Gazipur District of Bangladesh, on May 21, 1938. An interesting feature on the wedding of my parents, named “Peter and Agnes,” was written by Sister M. Francelia, CSC, and published in the ‘Bengalese,’ a monthly mission magazine of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the USA, in March, 1939.

My parents were Dr. Peter D’Costa, B.H. (1904-1971) and Mrs. Agnes D’Costa (1915-1995).  He was born at Rangamatia Village of Dhaka District (Gazipur District) in 1904. Initially, he was a homeopathic doctor and then a teacher (1951-1968) at St. Gregory’s High School in Dhaka. He was killed on November 26, 1971 along with 13 others in the village of Rangamatia. 

Mrs. Agnes D’Costa was born at Doripara Village, under Tumilia Catholic Church, in 1915. She was a primary school teacher for 40 years, first at Tumilia Catholic Girls’ School and later at Rangamatia Catholic Primary School. She was one of the founding members of the local Christian Cooperative Credit Union, founder of a women’s multipurpose cooperative society, and founder-teacher of one pre-primary school at Rangamatia. She died of heart attack in Dhaka on May 6, 1992.

Dr.Peter and Mrs. Agnes at a lakefront on their honeymoon at Baleswar (Balasore) in Orissa, British India (1938)
The newly-weds at the same lakefront at Baleswar, Orissa (1938)
Dr. Peter D'Costa in Calcutta (1930s)
Dr. Peter in Dhaka (late 1950s)
Dr. Peter in Dhaka (late 1960s)
Dr. Peter excelled in his studies at the Dunham College of Homeopathy  in Calcutta in the second half of 1920s

Dr. Peter D'Costa, when spending his retirement years at Rangamatia Village, was one of the 14 villagers brutally killed by West Pakistani army men on Nov. 26, 1971
St. Gregory's High School Students gather in their school compound in Dhaka every year to pay tribute to their three former teachers -- D. N. Paul Chowdhury, N. C. Sutradhar, and Dr. Peter D'Costa -- killed by West Pakistani military in 1971
Mrs. Agnes D'Costa, wife of Dr. Peter D'Costa, with their son Jerome D'Costa (1947)
Mrs. Agnes D'Costa with Jerome D'Costa (at Rangamatia Catholic Church compound in 1956)
Mrs. Agnes D'Costa with her class students under mango trees at Rangamatia Catholic Church compound in 1973)
Mrs. Agnes D'Costa in Dhaka in February, 1992

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